Pope asks for forgiveness

Holy Week in the Western Christian calendar is a time for Christians to confess their sins, ask for forgiveness, and seek to amend their lives. A billion believers will be doing all that in the five days ahead. Some may do it in their churches, some in other places of their choosing, and more in their own heads and hearts. Leaders of many different churches are encouraging their fellow-believers to ask God and other humans for forgiveness. One of these leaders made headlines this week because of his extraordinary role, gifts, status, character, and celebrity.

Calvinism and Conflict

Last Saturday was the day set aside for the annual festival commemorating “The Conversion of St. Paul.” Did anyone notice? Still, Paul is “all over the place” in Christianity. Almost everything about him evokes or signals conflict.


Fight for rational, limited gun-control if you are so moved by the Spirit or spirits, but know that in the present culture you will have stepped beyond the bounds of politics and moved to question the heart of one of the vital, vivid religions active today.

Religious Architecture

Few expressions of religion are as public and inescapable as buildings. It is difficult to hide temples, churches, chapels, mosques, and shrines from public view. Millions of people in all cultures enter and use them, and billions recognize them in skylines or down the block.

Martin Marty: Measuring religious intensity

Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in America rise together, hold steady together, and decline together. The reasons for the decline may vary, from group to group, but few in church life have it easy today. “Decline,” it turns out, is contagious.